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Xbox’s Major Nelson reminded everyone that as part of Microsoft’s new loyalty program, Xbox Games With Gold, will be releasing their first free game later on today. Defense Grid: The Awakening will be free for all Xbox LIVE Gold members from now until July 15th, when the second free game will be announced.

If you cannot recall what was announced at E3 in June, the ‘Games With Gold’ program is Microsoft’s response to the PlayStation Plus reward system in which PlayStation Plus paid members were allowed full game downloads of specific games each month.

dgDefense Grid: The Awakening is your basic tower defense in which you try to prevent aliens from stealing your power cores. You use your resources to build different towers to defeat different types of aliens. One of the nice spins that this game has is that you do have the chance to reclaim the cores if they are taken by defeating aliens on their journey back through.

Defense Grid: The Awakening has 20 story levels plus 4 bonus levels to battle it out on along with over 100 challenge modes with 15 different aliens coming at you. It also features a leaderboard so you can see who among your Xbox LIVE friends are better. There are 12 different achievements along with it rating you be a medal system on each scenario.

The best part about this game is that it’s a good spin on the tower defense games that almost everyone has played. It’s very easy to pickup and play. Any basic gamer would be able to figure this out within a few minutes of the story line.

One of the only negatives I can see about this game is it just feels like a port of their original PC version, right down to the mouse icon. It could use a little of the Xbox polish. But you can’t really expect much from a 4 year old game in terms of polish.

Defense Grid: The Awakening is a great first title to utilize Microsoft’s new ‘Games with Gold’ program. It’s simple, easy to pick up and play, yet tough enough that you will have to think it out to be able to achieve all of the medals and achievements. Keep an eye out for it being FREE in the Xbox LIVE

JR Moore

JR Moore is the Former Chief Editor at TechRaptor. When he's not living life, he's connected to an Xbox, a phone or tablet checking out the latest and greatest.